How do I answer this chap on FB (re the "Men:Don't Rape!" poster)?

(54 Posts)
helpmesaytherightthing Thu 26-Jun-14 13:37:56

I linked to this poster on a thread someone has started about victim blaming. A man has replied as per the below and I really don't know what to say to him - I can't believe he said what he did really! Am I on the right lines?? (Have NCd as this might be identifying)

Man: Nice blame all men poster.

Me: The point of the poster is that in women's toilets (and other locations) we see similar posters aimed at women, top ten tips for how not to be raped. When of course, it's not really up to us to prevent rape. It's kind of up to men not to rape us in the first place. smile

Him - So only men can be rapists and women can be victims? Way to go. Since most men don't rape anyone, it makes sense to inform women of precautions they can take against the ones that might. Also, anyone can rape anyone.

Me - Well, I'm not sure about [his not-UK country] law, but in the UK, rape is defined as "penetration with the penis", so yes, in my country, only men can be rapists. If you think it makes sense to inform women of "precautions they can take" against the few men that might be rapists, then I guess it also makes sense to inform those few men who might be so inclined, of the precautions they can take not to rape women.

helpmesaytherightthing Thu 26-Jun-14 13:50:31

He's not replied, so I am guessing he's decided he can't say anything back to that! wink

Purpleroxy Thu 26-Jun-14 13:52:24

I suggest not engaging in Facebook arguments on any topic.

But that said, I think when he says "blame all men" he is probably offended that he feels targeted by a campaign because he is a man. He isn't suggesting blame should go onto women I don't think, he suggesting that the blame should only go on men who are rapists, not all men.

TheFantasticFixit Thu 26-Jun-14 13:54:49

I think your responses were excellent, and articulate, OP

Purpleroxy Thu 26-Jun-14 14:01:06

I also think the poster is a bit strange:

1) don't put drugs in women's drinks

I would say that 100% of men who use drugs to facilitate rape (in a premeditated crime) know that they are doing something wrong. But they do it anyway. How can a poster stop them doing it, when they already know it's wrong? It's not like it's news to them.

However if a woman has a bottle of beer which she doesn't let go of or out of her sight then the rapist will not be able to get the drugs into it (or will find it a hell of a lot harder).

It isn't victim blaming at all, it's fighting crime. We lock our doors to make burglary more difficult. Nobody who is raped or burgled is at fault, regardless of the circumstances. The criminal is at fault.

Keepithidden Thu 26-Jun-14 14:05:26

It's not really blaming all men anyway, it's just telling them not to rape. If you're a man who is not a rapist then it's not aimed at you surely.

It's like the "Don't speed" road signs, if you're not speeding, they don't apply surely?

Or am I missing something here?

Keepithidden Thu 26-Jun-14 14:07:35

Although thinking about it a bit more, it's probably got a sceondary benefit of bringing rape out of the taboo territory it currently operates in with regard to male oriented publicity. I.e. most of the anti-rape stuff is towards women, not towards men.

helpmesaytherightthing Thu 26-Jun-14 14:12:47

Purple, yes you are quite right but I just couldn't let his opening response go! One of those "there is someone on the internet who is WRONG!" moments!! So true...

Fixit, thank you!

Keepit, yes you are right, it's not blaming all men at all! If he does come back then that's what I'll say. Thankfully someone else has backed me up now so I thin I might be safe smile

www.notever.co.uk/have-your-say/campaign-reaction/comparing-rape-to-property-theft/ this is quite a good resource.
It's not helpful to draw comparisons between rape and burglary.

The poster's satire and it's very helpful for women to see it and know there are folk out there who don't blame the victim, or believe she could have avoided rape if she'd done xyz.

DonkeySkin Thu 26-Jun-14 14:15:04

You could reply with statistics about who commits the vast majority of rapes and sexual assaults.

Home Office stats for 2011 say that 98.2 per cent of perpetrators of rape and sexual assault were male.

https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/214970/sexual-offending-overview-jan-2013.pdf

After that, I would just end the conversation there by saying you're not interested in discussing it further. He's never going to come around to your point of view, and will just waste your time with more pointless goading.

I always wonder about men who get sooooo defensive about anti-rape or domestic violence messages. Why do they feel personally attacked by them, if they don't perpetrate these things?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sOSrJZ99vBw Scenario whereby the analogy might work better

HaroldsBishop Thu 26-Jun-14 14:27:40

"I always wonder about men who get sooooo defensive about anti-rape or domestic violence messages. Why do they feel personally attacked by them, if they don't perpetrate these things?"

Because if it's addressed to men then they feel like they are the one's being spoken to, accused even, even if they are not rapists. (Although I note that that poster in particular doesn't specifically address men, it just lists things that would stop rape that men can do.)

For example, if there was a poster with the message "WOMEN:Don't be misandrist!", you could easily see how it might make you defensive, even though it doesn't apply to you because you are not misandrist.

That's why (rightly or wrongly) you get the defensive reaction.

SaskiaRembrandtWasFramed Thu 26-Jun-14 15:07:14

""I always wonder about men who get sooooo defensive about anti-rape or domestic violence messages. Why do they feel personally attacked by them, if they don't perpetrate these things?""

I wonder this too. Do they get upset about signs telling them not to drive too fast, or adverts warning against drunk driving, or anti-shoplifting signs, or notices at customs about the consequences of smuggling? I have a feeling they don't.

Dervel Thu 26-Jun-14 16:15:28

Actually this mans reaction is entirely the right and intended one. We're supposed to see the poster (as men who don't rape), and think that's absurd I don't rape, and men like me don't need to constantly remind ourselves constantly not to rape people.

The next thought in our heads is supposed to be "oh wait hang on this is a bit like all those campaigns aimed at women not to wear certain clothes, or go about their lawful business late at night or in secluded locations etc etc." Followed on of course with the earth shattering revelation that maybe perhaps women are not at fault either, and that maybe perhaps the way we as a society view this issue is completely arse about face.

It's sounds like in the case of our Facebook hero he's had that initial emotional reaction to the poster and decided to sally forth with his crucial and important opinion on it, and unfortunately the important following thoughts and realisations have failed to launch.

Now I am not entirely sure how I'd respond or indeed wether I'd fare any better than the OP, but I suspect I'd respond something like this:

narrows eyes now come along Tarquin you're smarter than this, that is precisely what you're supposed to feel on seeing the poster, but in feeling that way you are supposed to spot something really really obvious that will blow your mind. If you'd like some clues I can offer the words juxtaposition, empathy, and double standards now we can do this I believe in you..... waits patiently for the inspiring light of the dawn of realisation and understanding

Mengog Thu 26-Jun-14 17:53:47

Saskia the examples are different. It's like having a sign in a maternity ward stating MEN: DONT SEXUALLY ABUSE YOUR CHILDREN. Then listing a number of points about it. I am sure many men would be offended by that. It's completely different to drink driving and shoplifiting.

Much like Muslims may be offended by signs saying "DONT BLOW THINGS UP" with a list of hints and tips.

CaptChaos Thu 26-Jun-14 18:00:19

I would say that 100% of men who use drugs to facilitate rape (in a premeditated crime) know that they are doing something wrong. But they do it anyway. How can a poster stop them doing it, when they already know it's wrong? It's not like it's news to them.

Let me fix that for you, Purpleroxy.

I would say that 100% of men who rape know that they are raping someone. But they do it anyway. How can a poster stop them doing it, when they already know it's wrong? It's not like it's news to them.

I agree. The poster isn't really aimed at those men who rape, it's aimed at those people who honestly believe that there is anything a woman can do to prevent being raped, other than not to be in a room with a rapist.

If I am being completely honest, I would be very wary of any man who had the reaction your FB pal did helpmesaytherightthing because the only people who could really think that poster was all about them are the kind of men for whom it really might be about.

HaroldsBishop Thu 26-Jun-14 18:18:59

I should point out that the words "man" or "men" don't appear on that poster. So it's not aimed at men. I just food for thought as CaptChaos says.

Keepithidden Thu 26-Jun-14 19:04:05

Good point Harold. Interestingly, and at the risk of spurring on "what about the menz" comments, it only mentions women as potential victims.

Its quite specific isn't it.

SaskiaRembrandtWasFramed Thu 26-Jun-14 19:13:12

"Saskia the examples are different. It's like having a sign in a maternity ward stating MEN: DONT SEXUALLY ABUSE YOUR CHILDREN. Then listing a number of points about it. I am sure many men would be offended by that. It's completely different to drink driving and shoplifiting.

Much like Muslims may be offended by signs saying "DONT BLOW THINGS UP" with a list of hints and tips."

No, I think my examples are pertinent. It would be offensive to have a sign telling men not to abuse their children because not only men abuse children. However, there are plenty of campaigns (from NSPCC for example) urging parents not to abuse their children.

In the same vein, a sign telling Muslims not blow things up would be offensive because it's not an act that is unique to Muslims.

However, under UK law only men can commit rape, so it makes sense to aim anti-rape posters at them. It's not saying that all men are rapists, it's accepting that some are - not that I think posters will change the minds of those particular men, but I do think they will make non-raping men think about some of the attitudes surrounding the issue.

scallopsrgreat Thu 26-Jun-14 19:51:08

To poster is to counteract rape myths and as Saskia says get people (men) to think about those things. Rape myths and policing behaviour is almost always exclusively aimed at women. That is why it is quite specific.

Trapper Thu 26-Jun-14 20:05:16

But it is satire, right? It isn't a real poster aimed at men, it's a play on posters aimed at women.
I have never seen these posters aimed at women, but assuming they exist then this is merely a dark attempt a humour, yes?

I'm a little concerned that some people on here seem to believe this would be an acceptable 'real life campaign' though.

CaptChaos Thu 26-Jun-14 20:28:22

In what way wouldn't it be acceptable?

It seems to be perfectly acceptable for various police forces to issue guidance to women on how they can stop men raping them, which smacks to me of police forces not understanding what rape actually is.

Trapper Thu 26-Jun-14 20:33:45

I have not seen these police posters, but they would also be unacceptable and offensive. I don't quite understand your argument? Would putting these male posters up as part of a legitimate campaign make the posters aimed at women any less offensive?

Trapper Thu 26-Jun-14 20:39:43

The only police campaign I can see is this one: http://www.scotland.police.uk/whats-happening/news/2014/march/213718/

It doesn't victim blame from what little I can make out on my mobile.

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